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Community rallies to ensure beach declared swim safe

Published: 2 November 2018
Franklin Local Board's Alan Cole and chair Angela Fulljames at Clarks Beach.

Franklin Local Board is praising the local community for ensuring long-term public health warnings have been lifted at Clarks Beach.

The beach is one for four beaches in the Manukau Harbour to be deemed swimmable this summer.

The four beaches – Armour Bay, Taumanu East, Clarks Beach and Weymouth Beach – are now considered low-risk for most of the time, with high-risk periods only occurring around some rainfall events.

Local board chair Angela Fulljames says the Clarks Beach residents have shown what an empowered and resilient community they are.

“It’s great to have a community that really cares and pushes to be involved and I think without them we wouldn’t have got to this solution.”

Some of the local residents were retired scientists and were able to help with data collection to ensure Safeswim could develop a more accurate water quality model.

Clarks Beach community an example to follow

Local board member Alan Cole lives nearby in Waiau Pa and says, “the key thing was that they [local residents] were able to do daily sampling, and then they were able to prove what was happening."

Safeswim Programme Manager Nick Vigar says the removal of the long-term warning at Clarks Beach can be used as an example for other communities to follow.

“The work at Clarks Beach is a real success story of collaboration between the council and the local community.

"Clarks Beach is an excellent model of how a highly engaged community can work with the council to achieve great outcomes. Safeswim will be looking to use this model in other parts of the region as it helps creates a sense of understanding and ownership of local issues that is so important to resolving the issues.”

Make sure you check safeswim.co.nz for the most up-to-date information on water quality.